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■ A mid-summer nightmare: windows 8
One morning when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found his desktop PC transformed into a horrible |vermin mobile phone.
"What happened to me?" he thought. It wasn't a dream. Then he remembered that a couple of days ago a crafty salesman convinced him to drop his trusty windows OS for a pittance. He was assured that the only minor inconvenience was going to be a missing start button. But now he was looking at his once pristine quad core number cruncher reduced into a clumsy cell phone. "What one pays is what one gets" he thought to himself, "what can one expect of a $40 upgrade price?".
Gregor was a travelling salesman but occasionally did more on his PC than checking his email and liking on facebook. That's why he saved to buy a quad core desktop instead of a poser's ipad. This new windows 8 was like having two left hands! The more he dug into it, the greater the horrors he discovered:
- The standard windows maximize/minimize buttons were missing. You could only use one window at a time (!). Even the very first windows 1 version 30 years ago had multiple — albeit non overlapping — windows. Windowless windows sounded like a tease for a philosopher.
- All the GUI essentials he was used to (menus, toolbars etc) also turned into void and null. Sometimes as if by miracle he moved his mouse somewhere and saw a charms bar with a few commands reminding him of the good old days, but he wasn't sure whether it was real or some mirage. He could never remember how to reproduce this miraculous occurence anyway; probably a combination of WIN with some key?
- Interoperability between apps was down the drain too. Drag and drop, a simple operation that even his grandmother could understand without risking a stroke, was nowhere to be seen. He was hostage of whatever custom exchange mechanisms each app developer happened to come up with. Was the clipboard gone too? That would be a step too far!
- Multitasking being thus crippled with 1-window screens and little inter-process communication, was turned off altogether (!). Apps shoved in the background were put in a inactive (sleep) state. That would save battery on a mobile phone the win8 geniuses thought. But this is no mobile phone Sir, it is my desktop! How dare you?
Gregor would have no more of this nonsense. He had enough of this new technology — a reductio ad absurdum. "This is how technology would look after a nuclear holocaust" he thought to himself, as he made haste to rid the vermin from his sight. But where the divine grace is the shut down button?
Gregor Samsa made a vow to himself never to fall asleep again after a heavy dinner.
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